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Microsoft Tried to Sell Bing to Apple in Search Engine Power Play

In a bombshell report that stunned the technology world, details recently emerged that Microsoft crafted a 2024 proposal offering Apple billions of dollars to install Bing as the default search engine across its popular Safari web browser.

This surprise bid seeking an infusion of mobile search dominance reveals the immense challenges facing all Google competitors and the extreme lengths they contemplate to expand market share. Let’s analyze this secret negotiation attempt, what it signals about the search platform wars, and why Apple ultimately rejected Microsoft’s lucrative offer.

Inside Microsoft’s Boardroom Power Move

Hoping to leverage Apple’s billions of global devices to widen its search access by piggybacking the iconic iPhone maker brand halo, Microsoft constructed an extensive business plan:

  • Compensate Apple up to $10 billion+ over multi-year licensing terms according to unspecified formulas.
  • Provide ongoing revenue sharing from associated search advertising proceeds.
  • Commit dedicated Bing infrastructure investment to support expanded user volumes.
  • Embed Apple services prominently across both Bing web and Microsoft Edge to provide marketing exposure.

This bold tactical strike symbolized Microsoft’s desperation gaining search footing against Google’s unassailable lead.

Why Outsider Search Engines Struggle Competing

Google capturing overwhelming global search market share over 90% builds monumental competitive barriers:

  • Direct search data stockpiling from billions of queries daily better informs relevancy algorithms.
  • Vast advertising profits fund constant search innovation from AI to user experience improvements.
  • Being the entrenched default on Android, Chrome and numerous sites perpetuates market dominance.

Together these interlinked dynamics erect steep obstacles for challengers like Bing convincing users to switch allegiances.

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Microsoft Tried to Sell Bing to Apple in Search Engine Power Play

Reading Between the Lines on Why Apple Balked

When word of the negotiations leaked externally months later, tech insiders highlighted several rationale why the proposal failed internally:

  • Forfeiting billions in existing Google search licensing royalties posed untenable financial risk.
  • Bing inconsistencies around result accuracy and features undermined confidence in transition readiness.
  • Fear of increased regulatory scrutiny on Apple and Google’s entrenched mobile search dominance.
  • Rising Scrutiny of backroom deals between big tech juggernauts on antitrust grounds.

Weighing these complex considerations ultimately torpedoed the surprise Microsoft alliance.

Industry Reaction to Behind the Scenes Bargaining

Press and analysts shared mixed reactions on Microsoft propositioning Apple in hopes of borrowing its platform influence:

“Regardless of outcome, this underscores both Microsoft’s desperation and Apple’s unprecedented kingmaker dominance.”

– Alex Weinberg, Tech Industry Analyst

“That Microsoft was willing to spend billions to boost Bing validates unrelenting Google search monopoly pressures facing all big tech players today.”

– Nicole Coyne, New York Times Silicon Valley Editor

Observers viewed the episode as affirmation of Google’s seemingly impenetrable search supremacy in today’s landscape.

Where Next for Search Engines?

While Microsoft searches for Bing salvation, Google must balance innovation demands with increasing regulatory constraints. Consumer choice horizons remain largely unchanged near term across desktop and mobile experiences despite massive industry player investment trying to widen options.

Power dynamics across big technology continue fluctuating wildly behind the scenes. But for now Google maintains its search juggernaut status, leaving rivals scouring for vulnerabilities to reduce its dominance by any means necessary.

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